Care Home Management

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72 Reducing the Impact of Insurance Claims in Social Care

Reducing insurance worries for care homes – special podcast

Caring for the most vulnerable in our society has for ever meant challenges for care homes and the importance of having good insurance cover has always been both obligatory and essential for peace of mind.

Find our more on our latest podcast.

But the threats to care homes has grown in recent years. The move from paper and pencils to digitalisation has led to an increase in the kind of risks care homes must now face. Even five years ago, did anyone involved with care homes have sleepless nights worrying about cyber-crime?

“Cyber is an area we see that is really increasing,” says Towergate Insurance’s trading director, Carolyn Baker-Mellor. “Care homes are looking after some very sensitive records and for people wanting to buy those records they are very valuable. But it is not just personal records.

“People are very busy in the care sector and while you can have some very robust systems nothing is fool proof. We had an incident where someone senior always signed off a cheque. But now cheques have largely stopped, so it was an internal email to a director for sign off.

“That happened – but that director’s email had been cloned and so a payment went out for quite a considerable amount of money. That sort of money could easily put someone out of business.”

Carolyn has also seen an increase in claims being made against senior individuals in organisations if care has not been delivered properly. 

“With problems with such things as the cost of living, we are seeing an increase in the search for ‘someone to blame’ and possibly get some money from. It can cover so many areas, such as your reputation,” she says. “With growth of social media news travels fast. We provide crisis management help under our policies but it is essential to move quickly to deal with such problems.

“We had an incident with an operator under a franchise business. But of course the negative publicity that arose for that operator also had an effect on all the other franchisees. That may be unfair but it is a fact of life.”

Towergate’s advice is to maintain regular dialogue with your insurance broker and make sure that broker is a specialist in the care sector – it is not like buying general insurance off the internet.

Keep the broker informed and contact him immediately if anything goes wrong and provide as much evidence as possible, such as photographs.

As ever, prevention is better than cure.

Tune in to our Insurance Podcast here and to all our industry-leading podcasts here.

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